Brunei’s maritime cluster expected to drive economic growth

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): The establishment of the Integrated Maritime Maintenance and Decommissioning Yard Project will serve as a catalyst to boost Brunei Darussalam’s economic diversification efforts in line with the Brunei Darussalam Economic Plan .

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia, Dr. Awang Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, welcomed the signing of the Integrated Worksite Project contract on Wednesday June 29, which marked the launch of the Brunei Darussalam maritime cluster.

“The project exemplifies the benefits that the country, the economy and the people of Brunei Darussalam can gain when the public and private sectors work together and achieve another major step towards our economic diversification agenda through a pan-national approach,” says The Minister.

Brunei Darussalam’s maritime cluster has the potential to capture BND 10-25 million from annual ship maintenance and shore dismantling in the short term, and the aspiration to create 4,000 direct and indirect job opportunities for the Sultanate long-term through improved array of new business opportunities and infrastructure improvements.

Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said the integrated yard should stimulate the development of ancillary industrial services to support its operation; promote these services and opportunities to local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as well as foreign companies; and give impetus to the development of new industries in the service sector – one of the priority sectors of the economic master plan.

“There will be spin-off opportunities for local entrepreneurs to venture into and for foreign specialists in other industrial services to establish a presence in the country, which will create more investment opportunities and knowledge and technology transfer to local MSMEs,” he said.

Aligned with the nation’s efforts towards the global goal of sustainable development in “responsible consumption and production”, the minister revealed that the integrated yard intends to incorporate several green and environmentally friendly features, as well than to adopt the concept of circular economy for its operation, in which the majority of the residual waste recovered will be recycled into other products.

Additionally, the integrated yard intends to install solar photovoltaic modules and plans to use salvaged steel scrap to manufacture solar-powered street lamp towers typically used in remote locations on land and at sea.

The consortium’s efforts to set up a modern and environmentally friendly decommissioning yard comes at a good time, as the Sultanate’s oil and gas sector embarks on a multi-year decommissioning and restoration program. This will enable the country to comply with the requirements of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

“The combination of a multi-year decommissioning and restoration program and an onshore material recovery facility can also boost Brunei’s development into a regional center of excellence by attracting foreign specialists in other disciplines of the decommissioning and restoration services value chain to establish their operations in the Sultanate,” the Minister said.

“This will put Brunei in a better position to tap into the emerging multi-billion dollar market for decommissioning offshore oil and gas assets in Southeast Asia. Industry observers have estimated the value of this opportunity at more than US$30 billion over the next 20 years.

Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Mohd Amin Liew said the project is an important milestone in the establishment of Brunei Darussalam’s maritime cluster, underscoring the commitment of the government of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to stimulate and facilitate the development of the non-oil and gas sector in the Brunei Vision 2035 framework towards a vibrant and sustainable economy, and the global sustainable development goals on decent work and economic growth.

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